Shanghai, Nov 22 (CTK special correspondent) – The Czech delegation is pursuing a strong competitive battle in China, PM Bohuslav Sobotka, said in Shanghai yesterday, adding that he probably is not the only prime minister from Central or Eastern Europe to seek [Chinese] investments for their countries.
Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) was speaking at the close of the first day of a six-day official visit to China by a delegation of Czech politicians and businesspeople.
Sobotka started the visit by meeting local officials and Chamber of Commerce representatives in Shanghai.
Later yesterday, he opened the Czech-Chinese Business Forum Shanghai 2015.
Sobotka said there is a large group of entrepreneurs in Shanghai who have knowledge about the Czech Republic. This is largely thanks to the investments by CEFC, one of [China´s] biggest private companies, which has started investing in the Czech Republic already, he said.
Sobotka said he would like his visit to follow up the recent Chinese trip by Czech President Milos Zeman and also make use of the positive experience some Chinese companies have with the Czech Republic.
CEFC, which is the sixth biggest private company in China, in September announced its massive investments in the Czech Republic, such as the purchase of a 60-percent stake in the Slavia Praha football club and stakes in the Travel Service air carrier and the Pivovary Lobkowicz brewery.
On their visit to China, Sobotka and other Czech politicians have been accompanied by businesspeople representing radar manufacturers, developers, suppliers of medical equipment, chemical, oil procession and engineering units, representatives of the spa sector and breweries.
Sobotka has arrived in China at the invitation of his counterpart Li Keqiang, whom he will meet at the close of his visit on Friday.
Their talks are to confirm Prague and Beijing´s interest in an open bilateral dialogue, including the exchange of information about the situation in the other country.
They are also to discuss priorities of Czech-Chinese cooperation, such as the Czech Republic´s position, in relation to China, as a financial and air transport centre in Central, Eastern and southeastern Europe.
Mentioning the ongoing competitive battle that the Czechs and other Central and Eastern European countries have been pursuing in China, Sobotka said the Czech advantages are a very good infrastructure, a stable financial sector and the location in the centre of Europe.
One of the biggest Czech advantages is Prague, the capital city with a very good reputation, Sobotka said.
On Monday, Sobotka is scheduled to meet representatives of the China Eastern air carrier that is interested in launching regular flights between Prague and Shanghai.
This could significantly boost not only tourism but also economic cooperation, Sobotka said.
Besides, he will visit the Shanghai plant of the Czech-based Skoda Auto car maker and hold negotiations with significant Chinese financial institutions on Monday.